SENSE OF WONDER is a broad, inexpensive, single-volume anthology designed to give students a sense both of literature and history; the book includes canonical works, stories written in response to those works, and essays on major themes and topics in the field. The book will facilitate a variety of different types of speculative fiction course, whether the course is focused on particular themes, on a chronological look at writers, or on the roots of contemporary SF. Beginning with early twentieth-century writers, Sense of Wonder continues up through the most acclaimed present-day writers. Stories are not treated as purely academic exercises, but contextualized, which is vital in reading a genre where most writers know each other and the relationship between writer and reader is a major factor in how stories are created.
The collection includes more than 200 stories, poems, and bibliographic essays (contributed by professors who teach science fiction and by professionals), with an emphasis on the roots of modern SF. Each story author is given a biographical introduction as well.